We remodeled our kitchen in 2011.At the time I posted a picture of my dream island but never showed you it finished. We designed it with the stone top in mind but built it with butcher-block so the space is not as big as the magazine pictures.
The butcher block is the workhorse of the kitchen counters. The underneath part does not get used everyday but I slide in cookie sheets when the surface is covered, pies near the holidays, and occasionally it will hold junk that was on the top when I need the surface. Usually it has my big shallow salad bowl under it, but today it was bare.
I love love love my new kitchen.
If you want to do something similar, this is what I remember. The kitchen designer at Home Depot took an upper cabinet and altered it to fit our design, she said a lower cabinet couldn't be altered the way we wanted. We took a standard cabinet height of 36 inches and subtracted the counter height and the space height and then the wheel height. I would like the space to be bigger but it is 3 5/8". The cork is 1/4" thick. I have an e-mail from http://www.butcherblockspecialist.com/ that is where I purchased the maple butcher block from. They were quick and it looks great.